The Assembly of Armenians of Western Armenia and the National Council of Western Armenia participated in the 15th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva from July 4 to 8, 2022. The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a subsidiary body of the Human Rights Council, and its recommendations are taken into consideration by that body. To this end, studies are carried out and various topics are discussed during the sessions. This year’s studies focused on treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between indigenous peoples and states, including peace agreements and reconciliation initiatives and their constitutional recognition. The complete file of the National Council of Western Armenia was sent to the UN, which officially registered the study conducted by the chairman of the National Council, Mr. Armenag Apramian, who also took the floor to speak about the study.

This study is all the more important because the Armenian people of Western Armenia have unprecedented legal experience as an indigenous people and are an example for all peoples wishing to exercise their rights of self-determination.

In parallel to this study, topics such as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, violence against indigenous women, and recommendations for future Expert Mechanism studies were discussed, on which Ms. Lydia Margosian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Western Armenia, spoke. All of these topics are of great importance in relation to the current situation of the Armenian people and their rights, which have been constant. In this regard, and because of my first participation with the delegation of the National Council of Western Armenia, whom I would like to thank warmly, I was able to better understand all the suffering endured by other indigenous peoples, including the Incas and Toltecs, who opened the opening ceremony of the session with their prayers. The living passion of their speeches in wanting to continue to exist, to be respected and to have their legitimate demands taken into account, is a historic and unforgettable moment in human history. 

The Expert Mechanism carries the way of all those early peoples who taught us wisdom through the traditions of their ancestors. Who hasn’t heard of the Toltec Accords? A meeting between different indigenous peoples is a magical moment of synergy and understanding through the intersection of a simple glance. The work of the National Council of Western Armenia touched and inspired me. I was impressed by their determination and the strength of their work. As an Armenian from Western Armenia, I saw that my rights, the rights of the entire Armenian people, were really being protected and raised to the highest level. The rights of the Armenians of Western Armenia are indeed an example for all other peoples who look to the future of our nation, as we look to their future in the interweaving that binds us for eternity. 

For our future is their future, and vice versa.

Amalia-Astrid S. July 10, 2022